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Benoît Seron

Email: Benoit.Seron(at)ulb.be
Phone: +32-2-650 31 42
Fax: +32-2-650 29 41
Address: QuIC - Ecole Polytechnique de Bruxelles
Université Libre de Bruxelles
50 av. F. D. Roosevelt - CP 165/59
B-1050 Bruxelles

Research Interests

I am a PhD Student working on multiphoton interference. Starting from the context of BosonSampling, I study how non-trivial effects arise in the interference of multiple particles. Based on their (quantum) statistics, they exhibit surprising patterns, defying all common intuition. This is best exemplified by the celebrated Hong-Ou-Mandel effect: two independent photons, sent simultaneously on a half-transparent mirror will always bunch together in one of the two output modes. A situation where one is reflected and the other as well, as is possible with classical particles, will never arise, despite the lack of any effective interaction between the photons - a truly quantum situation. Fermions, on the other hand, will always be found separate (as follows from the Pauli exclusion principle).

A richer world still exists in the inbetween: when particles are partially distinguishable. This may mean delaying one photon. Naturally, if we were to delay one photon in the HOM experiment for a very long time, we would expect to find the same outputs as with classical particles. This is indeed the case, and intuitively, a smooth transition occurs between no delay and a large one.

A natural thought, and common rule of thumb, is that this effect extends in the presence of more photons and interference modes. That is, any amount of which-path information would reduce photonic bunching. We showed in our work with L. Novo and N. Cerf that this is not the case (reference below). This finding further questions our understanding of multiphoton interference, in a place least expected.

In my personal life, I am passionate about learning and education, making for an eclectic mix of interests, ranging from consciousness to cooking. I am also an avid sportsman, practicing trail running, athletics, various forms of cycling and weightlifting (wish I had the stamina to fit some more here!).

Publications and pre-prints

  1. Benoit Seron, Leonardo Novo and Nicolas Cerf, Boson bunching is not maximized by indistinguishable particles, arXiv preprint: arXiv:2203.01306 (2022).